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American Airlines adds more than 100 jets to those retiring due to the coronavirus

March 31, 2020
3 min read
American Airlines adds more than 100 jets to those retiring due to the coronavirus
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American Airlines will retire more than 100 aircraft early as it shrinks its fleet in response to lower demand from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has added 76 older Boeing 737-800s, plus all nine of its Airbus A330-300s and 20 Embraer E190s, to the list of planes it will retire early amid the COVID-19 crisis, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The move would be in addition to the 51 Boeing 757s and Boeing 767s that American previously indicated it would retire early due to the virus.

American spokesperson Andrea Koos did not confirm the fleet changes but said the airline continued to modify its "flying schedule and fleet requirements based on demand."

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A decision by American to retire what would amount to more than 150 jets early makes sense. The carrier is making deep capacity cuts with plans to reduce international flying by up to 90% and U.S. flying by up to 80% in May. These cuts will require far fewer aircraft than the 942 mainline jets American flew on Dec. 31, 2019.

By the latest estimates, demand for air travel is not expected to hit bottom until June at the earliest and will take years to recover to 2019 levels. Most analysts expect U.S. demand to be down by double-digits at year-end, even with the trillions of dollars in stimulus from the government.

Delta Air Lines is removing all of its 77 McDonnell Douglas MD-88s and MD-90s, as well as some of its 767s, earlier than planned due to COVID-19. Other carriers are expected to make similar fleet reductions with older jets likely in the crosshairs.

American already planned to retire its A330-300s in the next year or two. The E190s were due to leave by year-end.

The older 737 retirements are a new addition to American's fleet plan. The planes were previously slated to be retrofit with updated cabins that featured 12 more seats for 172 total, the same number as on its 737 MAX 8 jets.

Related: American Airlines accelerates Boeing 757, 767 retirements due to coronavirus

Featured image by (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases